As one of the innovative highlights of the Monaco Yacht Show, design studio, 3deluxe, launched a zero-carbon super-yacht, which is available for purchase as an NFT (digitally encrypted token) on the SuperWorld auction platform.
To coincide with the Monaco Boat Show, the visionary yacht can be admired virtually against the backdrop of the Port of Monaco via the SuperWorld AR platform. Half of the funds raised from the sale will go towards the marine conservation organization, Sea Change Project, founded by the producers of the Oscar-winning film My Octopus Teacher.
The challenges of climate change are forcing all industries to radically rethink the way they operate. In the technically ambitious world of yacht-building, there are some interesting developments that could pave the wave for achieving the goal of significant reduction in emissions from global seafaring.
Some shipyards and technology companies have already made significant progress with the development of zero-carbon propulsion systems using fuel cells and are presenting the prospect of the first zero-carbon ships. Meanwhile, the architecture and design studio, 3deluxe, has many years of expertise in the design of expedition and cruise ships in various formats, and the studio is now presenting a design study for a zero-carbon super-yacht.
In addition to the technological innovations and the ambitious outer design, the interior of the yacht also sets new standards. The interior concept breaks with many conventions of yacht design to correspond with the visionary, nature-oriented philosophy of the project: A light-suffused, loft-like space forms a spacious room continuum consisting of a greenhouse, lounge living space, kitchen, bar, and vegetable garden. Luxury is rewritten entirely, with natural surroundings replacing acrylic glass and brass, and natural, healthy air replacing excessive air conditioning.
Healthy food cultivated on-board, fresh fish from the ocean, relaxation, workouts, online business meetings, celebrations with friends – all of this is possible within the inspiring ambiance of the paradisiacal biotope. The additional water needed for the plants is obtained through a seawater desalination system, which is powered by the zero-carbon solar panels on the roof and the exterior. Additionally, the master bedroom is an open-topped space within the greenhouse – with a view of the starry night sky. The open spatial concept corresponds to the modern living concepts of a new generation of yachts: open, unconventional, and close to nature.
The simple, elegant exterior of the ship is characterized by a homogeneous, closed shape. Reduced and streamlined, the volume offers minimal resistance to wind and weather, and the hull merges seamlessly with the side façade right up to the highest point of the ship.
Sensor-controlled louvers are integrated into the raised side walls to regulate the amount of light reaching the upper decks, and they can be closed during fast sailing and adverse weather. The protected flat roof is glazed and lets daylight into the interior. Additionally, the side, sensor-controlled louvers also boast transparent photovoltaic cells, which provide power for air conditioning, lighting, and the desalination system.
The wheelhouse is unconventionally located at the bow, so the open sundeck behind it can extend seamlessly through into a generous, single-space interior concept. At the open stern, there is a saltwater pool and a small marina with direct access to the sea.
Ideally, the ship’s future owners will make it available for educational and training purposes during lay-up periods.
The aim is to remove the elitist character of these kinds of private investments, and to use the project as a communicative platform for discussion of the complex challenges of our time – as a modern, innovative training ship for new and inspirational approaches for young people, students, and innovative start-ups, and as an unconventional venue for summits, conferences, and think tanks. Ideally, this would compensate somewhat for the consumption of resources involved in its construction.
The most attractive and progressive key technology for zero-carbon propulsion of cruise ships and yachts is currently considered to be fuel cells driven by hydrogen. The hydrogen required for the fuel cells can either be refueled or produced locally using methanol from emissions-free production. Methanol is more readily available and less complex to handle than hydrogen and, with one full tank of bio-methanol, a fuel-cell yacht travelling at slow speed can still cover a distance of 1,000 nautical miles.
This technology currently remains expensive, but with the appropriate maturity and greater prospects for marketing, it will become increasingly affordable for commercial shipping. The silent electric engines, which can be distributed decentrally throughout the ship, also avoid any outward noise pollution, while the interior of the ship would likewise be unusually quiet and free of vibrations.
Yet it’s not only the operation, but also the construction of a yacht that needs to be as emission-free and as sparing in its use of resources as possible. There are already some innovative steel and aluminum producers in Norway and Germany who are driving down CO2 emissions considerably through the use of renewable energy, optimized manufacturing processes, and recycling. Similar optimization should apply to the entire manufacturing process of the yacht. After all, here too innovative yacht construction could be a driving force for an emissions-free future for the entire shipping industry.